We hope that you never have a serious accident, but it’s a good idea to be prepared for any crashes before they occur. Here are some things for you to consider so when the time presents itself, you are as prepared as possible.
Here is what to do once an accident has happened:
- Move your car. As soon as safely possible, move your vehicle to a safe area to prevent it from being driven into by other cars. It is tempting to think that since a crash happened that all “evidence must be preserved” and nothing needs to get relocated. The reality, however, is that you should reduce the risk of another accident and move your vehicle off to where it is safe.
- Put on the hazard lights. Your hazard lights (emergency flashers) switch is usually located near your steering column or on the dash. It’s often a small red or orange button with a triangle-shaped icon on it. Put them on immediately to signal to everyone that they should pay attention to the vehicle because something is wrong. It will also warn people to keep out of the way.
- Call 911. Whenever you get into an accident, it’s very important to have the police come and handle things. That is their job and they know what to do. When the police get there, they will take over. They’ll document the accident, take care of issues and control traffic.
- Get out of your car, if it seems safe. Make sure all is clear, then check to see if anybody has been hurt. Check the other vehicles involved and see how everyone else is doing. If things are not well for other vehicle occupants, you can alert the cops when they arrive. And again, don’t worry about the arrival of the police—they are there as part of their work shift.
- Start taking photos. This might sound obnoxious but the more pictures you take, the better your situation’s outcome. These pictures can help the cops when they investigate and your insurance company will probably want to check them out. Even basic cell phones will let you take pictures, so no worries if you don’t have a smart phone.
- Once you are back home, contact your insurance company. You may be able to file a claim online, if your company allows it and you are comfortable doing so.
As a bonus, let’s outline some of the things you should always have in the car, in case of an accident:
- A phone, which you’re probably carrying around in your purse, pocket or backpack
- First-Aid Kit: This will let you handle small cuts, bumps or bruises
- Some paper and a writing utensil: To take notes
It is almost a fact of life that you are going to have a motor vehicle accident at some point, and we hope this article has been informative as to what to do when the time comes. Thank you to this Roslyn, NY car dealer for their help with this article!